Marty Stuart Helps Unveil Historic Marker Honoring Jimmie Rodgers

Pictured: Kamel King (Visit Mississippi), Craig Ray (Visit Mississippi), Terry Napier (City of Bristol, TN), Leah Ross (BCM), Kenny Vaughn, Marty Stuart, Dale Jett, Chris Scruggs, Mayor Neal Osborne (City of Bristol, VA)

Marty Stuart recently joined Mississippi Country Music Trail Commission chairman Craig Ray to unveil a marker honoring late country artist Jimmie Rodgers. The marker was revealed at the site where the 1927 Bristol Sessions were recorded, in Downtown Bristol, TN-VA. The marker is the second to be dedicated to Rodgers, following the first located in his hometown of Meridian, Mississippi, along the Mississippi Country Music Trail.

The Jimmie Rodgers-Bristol Sessions Mississippi Country Music Trail marker can be found at 416 State Street in Bristol, Tennessee. It is the trail’s 33rd marker and the first outside the state of Mississippi. Other Mississippians honored along the trail include Elvis Presley, Marty Stuart, Tammy Wynette, Charley Pride, and Conway Twitty.

“This is ground zero for country music. I come back to this town for inspiration, I come to this town for enlightenment,” said Stuart. “When you’re an island, you’re nothing, but when you’re neighbors, it’s everything. I love the fact that Mississippi and Tennessee are now officially neighbors at this site, because this is one of the most important sites in the history of American music. Unparalleled.”

Recorded by producer Ralph Peer for the Victor Talking Machine Company, the 1927 Bristol Sessions are considered the most influential early commercial country music recordings of all time. The Sessions included the first recordings of Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family, propelling both acts to stardom. These recordings brought country music to the mainstream using state-of-the-art “orthophonic” sound technology, and Peer’s system of paying royalties to artists revolutionized the country music industry we know today.

Plans are in the works for Bristol to take a marker of their own to Mississippi in 2020.

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About the Author

Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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